The Ship: S.S. Keewatin
S.S. Keewatin is the world’s last British-built, Edwardian-era passenger steamship. Constructed in 1907, 5 years prior to Titanic, and to similar standards but on a smaller scale, Keewatin exemplifies the culture which dominated the dawn of the twentieth century. Of some 3800 similar liners built between 1900 and 1920, Keewatin is the sole survivor.
Her Operator: “Friends of Keewatin” (us)
The “Friends of Keewatin” is the popular name for The RJ and Diane Peterson Keewatin Foundation, a registered Canadian charity (81676 3536 RR 0001) named for the Michigan couple who saved the S.S. Keewatin from the wreckers in 1967. The Friends leases the S.S. Keewatin and the dock and bay at which she resides from their owners, and operates her as an historical attraction.
To preserve and protect the S.S. Keewatin, an historical artifact from the dawn of the 20’th century, and to tell the story of her contribution to securing Confederation as a member of the Upper Great Lakes Fleet.
What we do:
“Friends of Keewatin” operates the S.S. Keewatin as an historical attraction, conducting guided tours of the ship, her fixtures, and displays of her artifacts, in return for admission. We are seasonal: we traditionally open the Thursday prior-to Victoria Day, and close on Thanksgiving Day. We also welcome donations, and pursue applicable government grants.
Friends of Keewatin is headed by a Chief Executive Officer working with a small Board of Management as a “brains trust”. The CEO is also President, and the Board of Management is comprised primarily of a Management Team which works with the coordination of a General Manager to operate the S.S. Keewatin as an historical attraction.
Friends of Keewatin is comprised of Volunteers. Those few who are also employees are paid nominally, and currently include one full-time, one part-time, and two temporary / part-time managers. Some services are contracted out. The backbone of Friends of Keewatin is unpaid volunteers: at the end of the 2017 season active volunteers numbered in excess of seventy.
Location: 311 Talbot St., Port McNicoll, ON L0K 1R0
Postal Mail: PO Box 189, Port McNicoll, ON L0K 1R0
The RJ and Diane Peterson Keewatin Foundation is a history management and marketing organization responsible for the care, operation and promotion of a beloved Canadian artifact. Our Canadian icon has its roots in Georgian Bay area of the Great Lakes, County of North Simcoe and Province of Ontario as well as the greater country as a whole. We are linked to Scotland in the United Kingdom and Michigan in the United States. Our mission is to promote participation and passion for the S.S. Keewatin, to provide entertainment and education and ensure this Century plus year old Edwardian vessel has long term viability while always being responsible and respectful of Keewatin’s heritage and taking fiscal responsibility for her preservation and continued operation .
To be recognized as a role model charitable organization in terms of governance, sponsor-ship and financial strength and to offer the ultimate marine based historic entertainment experience by which all similar venues are measured.
To be the creator and custodian of generations of dreams and memories that will be enhanced by expanding Keewatin into a “living facility” run by a dedicated volunteer community for the benefit of all.
To provide the local community with a venue for celebration and various events that will reinforce the values and traditions of the Heart of Georgian Bay as an historic area.